Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Good Intention Gone Too Far?

There was an article in our local newpaper outlining Ontario’s proposal towards new organ donation rules. I scanned the article, and you can read it here. Apparently, it would be a “negative registration” kind of thing. Basically, you’re an organ donor unless you specify that you don’t want to be one.

This is of special interest to me as I am a kidney transplant recipient from a cadaver donor. If some thoughtful and generous soul out there hadn’t taken action and signed the donor card, my quality of life would be nil by now. I know how important it is to sign the donor card, and have signed my own of course. Still, I’m not sure what to think of this proposed plan.

I think more needs to be done to further organ donation, but I don’t think a plan this extreme is called for yet. I am always against a “negative billing”-like scenario. Too much power. There are other avenues to consider first. The first of which is to remove the “family must approve” designation. If someone has signed their donor card, that is a decision made by that individual and shouldn’t be overturned by other people. We always honor the wishes of the deceased in everything else, why not this?

Also, when was the last time you went to your doctor for anything and they mentioned organ donation? It should be brought up all the time, pushed to the forefront of society’s consciousness, and the means to be an organ donor should be made simple.

I had to search the internet to find out what to do to be recognized as a donor and to get a donor card. I even asked certain health professionals about it, and they couldn’t provide concrete answers. I think these are areas that need to be addressed before going to extremes.

What about marketing it like anything else? We all know about Cialis and Viagra and genital herpes because there are commercials on TV for these medications every other commercial break. If the information was readily available, and pushed to the masses, maybe people would start thinking more about it and realizing the good they could do by signing the donor card.

It’s a personal choice, and I can’t argue with anyone’s view of it – for or against. All that should be asked is that everyone thinks about it seriously and actually makes a choice, one way or another, rather than being unaware and not even realizing there was a choice to be made.

Comments on "A Good Intention Gone Too Far?"


Blogger Blythe Lane said ... (February 21, 2006 12:53 PM) : 

I think you summed it up nicely: "All that should be asked is that everyone thinks about it seriously and actually makes a choice, one way or another, rather than being unaware and not even realizing there was a choice to be made." There might be more personal resolve if more people were really aware.

You're right -- organ donation is not something you think about on a very common basis. I think it crossed my mind once when they asked me a the DMV when I was 16! I definitely think you have something here in trying to get the word out. Maybe you need to be Canada's newest spokesperson! You've definitely made me more aware. Thanks for sharing.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (February 21, 2006 4:08 PM) : 

I don't know how good a spokes person I'd make...good with the public blogging, not so much with the public speaking...

Maybe we could get Angelina Jolie or Bono...they're always in the news 'spokespersoning' something or other. I could even write their speeches...

Yes, I think it's just a matter of getting the word out and talking about it more. Getting people to realize it's something worth thinking about.


Blogger The Original LRU said ... (February 21, 2006 5:31 PM) : 

Excellent post, Eaglewing. I think your ideas should be implemented way before going ahead with this legislation.

I think it is still an exceptional act to sign the organ donation card. While it's a noble act, the choice should still be personal.

And think of the possible mistakes, if the negative signing gets lost, and organs are harvested when the person who just died had a religious belief against it. That would be rather tragic I think.

The title sums it up: a good intention gone too far.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (February 22, 2006 5:52 AM) : 

I was thinking that too - of the possible mistakes. And if everyone is already committed to it, unless they opt out - where's the guarantee that after you die they aren't going to take your organs? I think it's harder to come up with a signed donor card when there wasn't one, than to come up with a non-opted out registrant who actually opted out.

I support organ donation, but I understand that some people don't, and they have that right. If we are really living in a free country, it should still be a choice. We just need to get people thinking about it more so they can make that choice.


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